Devotional 7- Liar
Don't you just hate being lied to?
I mean...I have compassion for people who lie. It's not like I've never lied or exaggerated before. I know what it feels like to have done something stupid and then called on the carpet for it. You start to sweat. Your heart begins to race. You know that there's going to be a bad reaction to the truth so you...
See!? I'm still justifying it! Regardless of my compassion for liars, I still HATE being lied to. I've begged the people in my life to give me a chance with their truth. To trust the God in me to enable me to be forgiving and understanding in my responses. Despite that...I continue to get lied to.
One of the most difficult things for me in living through this pandemic is feeling like I'm constantly getting lied to. The speculation is out there on all fronts, isn't it? The Democrats are accusing the Republicans. The Republicans are accusing the Democrats. The people are accusing the government leaders. The government leaders are accusing other countries. The media is accusing EVERYBODY! In the end, I just want to cut myself off even more from society because it seems like there is no way to know the truth.
I was visiting with my best friend and her mom this past week. Our conversation led me to write this devotional and although I laughed as we told a story from our pasts, in my heart- I grieved a bit. I lied to my best friend about something that really mattered to her and even 25 plus years later-I'll never forget the look on her face when she realized that I'd done it. For the record...it wasn't the worst lie I've ever told a friend but it was one of the worst reactions that I ever got from my deception.
My friend, Stephanie, is terrified of most things Halloween. In particular, she is not a fan AT ALL of the haunted houses. Now, I know that everyone might have different stands on the spooky holiday and I completely respect if yours is "not a fan"! But, as a kid and now even as an adult, I will often be found enjoying a good scare whether by movie or October event.
My friend, Jeremy, and I were out one night with Stephanie and looking for something fun to do. We mentioned the local haunted house and were met with a resounding "NO" from Steph. "Bummer!", I thought. "She just has no idea how fun they are. If she could just make herself go into one, she would see!" And, that's when I made the decision to lie.
I could just cast the blame on Jeremy- goodness knows, he was just as ornery as I was but I don't recall him being a part of the following conversation. I told Steph that the Haunted Houses aren't at all what she thought they were. There were no men with chainsaws chasing people. There was no touching. (This used to be allowed years ago!) AND...there were these "escape" doors throughout the haunted house and if she just asked for it, they would let her out early.
All lies. Straightforward, purposeful lies.
But, remember..I thought I was lying for the greater good! I believed that if I could just get her into the door, she would enjoy it after all.
It was selfish and mean but it was with some good intention, right? I know, I know. It was an awful lie.
We got her in the door and before I knew it, the chainsaw guy was chasing us. I was laughing and squealing and Steph was behind me so I didn't see her reaction. We came upon the "wall of hands"- where people grabbed at you and scared you. Again, I was screaming in delight and could hear nothing behind me. It wasn't until we emerged into the next room that I overheard someone yelling behind me. I turned around and Steph had a "Monster Guy" by the arm and was yelling over and over again, "Where's the trap doors?? Where is the escape doors??"
We got her out of the haunted house and she ran ahead of us to the car. When we got to her, we realized she was crying.
And, angry. She was, rightly so, very angry and very much crying.
Now, I will tell you that I felt terrible (as I should!), I apologized profusely and in teenaged fashion, we won her love and friendship back with a Taco Bell taco of her choice- on us!
When I tell the story now- it's pretty hilarious. It's been years and she and I have weathered much harder moments in our friendship but when the laughter from the crowd subsides, I still feel terrible. "Best Friend" is a sacred trust. I broke that with her that night. I created doubt in her mind about my intentions and cares for her deepest fears.
By the way...I'm still VERY sorry, Steph.
There is another sacred trust that we face every day as believers. The trust between us and our God. We don't know from day to day what life will bring from His hands and it seems like the minute things go awry- We are standing outside our nightmare, crying, angry, and accusing Him of being a liar!
Have you ever said, "I trusted you God! I trusted you to keep my family safe, to keep my marriage safe, to keep my health safe!" "I trusted you with my finances, my career, my sanity!" So many of us will shake our heads in disappointed and righteous indignation when we read the story of Jesus' crucifixion, and how he stood accused before the leaders of that time. How they mocked him and plucked his beard out. And yet...we accuse him of the same thing in the same way when we face a trial or struggle.
"You aren't who you say you are, Jesus! You're a liar!"
Yikes. That was even hard to type but how often we stand guilty of blaming and questioning His motives in our lives.
So, let me take a minute to tell you once again, what we all know is true:
God is not a liar. God is not a deceiver. God is not a thief.
God is for you. God is a promise keeper. God never does bad to His kids. God holds His word to you as a sacred trust and He can't....He cannot break that trust.
Titus 1:2 ESV
In hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began
Hebrews 6:18 ESV
So that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.
Numbers 23:19 ESV
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
1 Samuel 15:29 ESV
And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.”
2 Timothy 2:13 ESV
If we are faithless, He remains faithful— for He cannot deny himself.
I believe that this knowledge can be quickly forgotten when life brings anxiety and pain. What we know to be true gets very quiet in our mind compared to the voice of our flesh and Satan, screaming out in accusation. This is why it is critical that you have the promises of God literally written where you will see them. Accessible. Posted. Whatever it takes to keep you in the right mindset.
When you're reminding yourself about the truth about God-remember to remind yourself about the truth about Satan, also...
John 8:44 ESV
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
So, what are your favorite promises and truths to hold onto? Leave me a comment and hopefully it will inspire others to find new ones!